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$5,000 sign-on bonus: The industry desperate for staff

A person holding Australian currency to represent the bonuses the hospitality industry is offering.
The hospitality industry is struggling to find workers amid skills shortage. (Source: Getty)

The hospitality industry has been hit hard by the skills shortage and now one major operator in the space is offering $5,000 bonuses for new full-time workers.

The owner of Sydney Restaurant Group, Bill Drakopoulus, said businesses had been struggling to fill essential roles.

“The whole industry is desperate and we certainly are a big part of it,” Drakopoulus told Channel 7 this morning.

“We’ve got a whole range of jobs, from waiters, to sommeliers, to assistant managers, to managers, to cooks, to chefs.”


Drakopoulus said there was a vacancy for almost every position to boost the workforce to remain operational.

“Many of our restaurants are limiting capacity or closing certain shifts, simply because we don’t have the manpower to be able to be at full capacity, which is damaging for us and our industry and the economy,” Drakopoulus said.

Skills shortage

Australia now has more available jobs than unemployed people, according to new data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

Australia’s unemployment rate fell to 3.4 per cent in July - the lowest it has been since August 1974.

"The fall in unemployment in July reflects an increasingly tight labour market, including high job vacancies and ongoing labour shortages,” Bjorn Jarvis, head of labour statistics at the ABS, said when the results were released.

“In July, there were fewer unemployed people (474,000) than there were job vacancies (480,000 in May).”

These tight conditions had led some business owners to offer larger pay packets and incentives, just as Drakopoulus had.

But higher staffing costs can be passed on to consumers, since both businesses and individuals struggle with the rising cost of living.

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